Friday, February 20, 2004

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD YOU SEE THE DARNEDEST THINGS. Crunchy Conservatives, South Park Republicans -- these kids today and their ephemeral political fads! Now at Tech Central Catspaw we have Nick Schulz filing a trademark on "Ambivalent Conservatives."

This is a single-issue craze, having to do with gay marriage. According to Schulz:
A curious thing happens when talking to younger conservatives about gay marriage. While many of them think same-sex marriage is in some ways an incoherent notion, I haven't come across any who think that gay marriage will not at some point be permitted. What's more, many of them are not particularly distraught at the prospect.
Isn't that nice? They're not like their Bible-thumping elders at all. They just find you and your same-sex partner's loving commitment to one another "incoherent." And they don't doubt that you will be able to marry "at some point" -- hopefully after they've risen to a high enough position at the American Enterprise Institute or in the GOP that they don't have to keep writing fence-straddling bilge like this about it for fear of being outed as a namby-pamby.

Schulz goes on to clarify his ambivalence:
...[AmbiCons] call themselves conservatives; but they are more comfortable saying that, while they certainly aren't exactly what you would call for gay marriage, they don't have much stomach to be against it, either... Jonah Goldberg of National Review captured some of this ambivalence when he recently wrote, "Whether you're for it or against it, many of us just don't want to hear about it anymore"...
Maybe it was the magic name Goldberg that knocked the scales from my eyes, but when I read this bit I suddenly saw what Schulz and his wholly lily-livered gang was up to.

As the anti-gay shock troops have been saying, gay marriage is now, will-you nill-you, a pressing issue. The weddings are happening, the courts are working, and it seems the FMA is coming, too. If you offer opinions for a living, or even as an avocation, on this one it's time to put up or shut up. (And let me state here for the record that I support gay marriage, gay polyamory and polygamy, straight polyamory and polygamy, and "mixed doubles." On straight marriage, however, I remain ambivalent.)

It's evidently easy to get young, ambitious conservatives to endorse the bombing of Iraq on the flimsiest of pretexts, but it is hard to get them to mount up with the queer-crushin' brigades, at least in public. That's because these milky lads, susceptible as they are to pressure from the big boys at the think tanks and party conferences and internet "journals of opinion," are also prey to peer pressure. "Lots of younger conservatives think of themselves as tolerant, freedom-loving and possessing metropolitan sensibilities," says Schulz -- and of course they do, because this is how any modern young person wishes to think of himself, and be thought of.

That's why the Bush Youth have been pushing South Park Republicanism -- it accentuates the "kick ass" part of the rightwing thing (Bomb shit! Make mad scrilla! Be P.InC.!) while playing down the less-popular Biblical strictures. Gay-bashing, even for one's boss, is just not rad.

Is it any wonder that these striplings, who are used to having it all -- conservativism and cred with their peeps -- balk at having to don, even momentarily, the white hood? What will Joe AmbiCon's gay friends say? Worse, what will his girlfriend say the next time he tries to fuck her in the ass?

AmbiConservatism is, alas, the best they can do. And a sorry spectacle it is. They do not acknowledge, even glancingly, the plight of gay citizens facing a wave of bigotry, asking instead: what about our needs? AmbiCons are made "uneasy"; they are left "scrambling for a political position they can articulate and be comfortable with." Sound like hell, doesn't it?

Actually, it sounds like gutless accomodationism by a bunch of punks who reflexively put party over principle, because the former is everything to them, and the latter nothing. They make Andrew Sullivan look like John Brown at Harper's Ferry.

If there's any doubt of this, it is dispelled when Schulz endorses Jonathan Rauch's gay-marriage Missouri Compromise -- a new version of the FMA with slightly more wiggle-room than the current one. There's no hope of passing it, of course, but like a new fashion speedily adopted, it may temporarily alleviate feelings of worthlessness.

Unjustly in this case.

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